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June 26, 2005

Things Have Been Too Serious Around Here…
 
I probably should finish off my CAIR article musings, but considering that some of you, ahem Alti, are giving me a hard time saying that article was the topic of my broke and lame khutbah this past Friday… I’ll hold off on that for another time. Besides, I need audio capabilities for the second part and Fahad’s server is down… yet again….
 
Anyway, with the spate of weddings that mark the summertime, I think it’s once again imperative to refresh ourselves with this wise and noble theory below. This religion is all about refreshing ourselves with information that we already knew–Imam al-Mawlud said that even the rules of prayer should be reviewed every 6 months so as to keep them fresh. So yes, I know this is a classic post, but hey, it has even greater applicability now than it did 9 months ago. Besides, I added two more points…
 
 
Originally posted on Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Cheap Wedding Theory

 

The Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said in a sound hadîth: “The religion is good counsel.” The Companions asked, “For whom (is this good counsel), O Messenger of God?” He said: “To God, to His Book, to His Messenger, to the leaders of the Muslims, and the common folk.”

 

 

My dear brother and shaykh of Xanga, Saqib Shafi recently asked me to come up with a theory on how one can have the cheapest wedding possible (though he helped with some aspects of this theory).  Despite him being no where ready to get married, I could see the poor man’s sincerity and earnestness in his question; I felt it was my obligation to help my brother with his request. I felt it was my honor to be asked to write such valuable material, just as one of Imam al-Ghazali’s students asked him for advice and he gave to him the famous “O My Beloved Son“…  Especially when he quoted to me the “great” Imam Abdul Shirazi: “They shoulda neva gave you Desis money!” I could see that Saqib, while having a big heart, didn’t have a big wallet.  I could see that if I were to help remove this worldly anguish of my brother, as another hadîth states, God would remove an anguish of mine on the Day of Judgement. I therefore spent some time to develop a practical theory (though I think all my theories are quite practical to those blessed with the eye of clarity) that I believe can be of some use.

 

Moreover, the recent spate of weddings (mashallah) in the community has led me to one conclusion: despite all the new families and relationships forged, it’s quite clear that most people are simply paying too much for their wedding. Now, I’m not talking about the weddings with $1 million mahrs, 5 functions, jewelry sets to all the guests, etc. That’s a serious issue that I think I’ve already dealt with before. Nay, rather, I’m talking about even the normal weddings that people are having these days. Perhaps the overwhelmingly majority of people out there think there’s nothing wrong with them. And perhaps they’re right. But, as the Grand Shaykh of the KR Foundation (Keepin’ it Real Foundation) and an Economics major, I cannot help but feel that the same results of family and community building can be achieved at a much lower cost. If corporations can have consultants to analyze their companies and maximize their efficiency, why shouldn’t marriage? Isn’t it that people refer to marriage as “a sacred institution”; this institution too, I believe, can undergo some analysis such that changes can be made to maximize cost-efficiency.

 

Besides, if one chooses to follow the noble Theory of Wife Demotion, all those weddings are going to cost an arm and a leg….

 

Therefore, my dear son, you have asked us about an important matter that is difficult for those who do not know the way. Know then that the masters of the path know these simple truths:

 

  1. Finding a wife: This has to be the trickiest part of this theory because finding a female who wants to cut down on the bells-and-whistles of her own wedding is rarer than the Bears beating the Packers (though it just did happen today so that can give us all some hope). Amongst the current generation, one might find it easier to find and capture the Loch Ness monster than to find such a female. If such a female exists, then hold onto her like the cold grips of death and don’t let her escape. However, like I said, these women are quite rare. Therefore, the easiest and most economic way is to find a girl from the motherland who doesn’t have rich parents. This is not only so that she wouldn’t have been accustomed to all sorts of luxuries, but the fact that you can tell her parents that you, as a U.S. citizen, are the ticket to their clan’s migration to the graveyard that is America, will be enough to get them to agree to any terms and conditions that you set forth for the wedding. If one is able to find such a female, the rest of the theory becomes quite easy to follow.
  2. Engagement Ring: While there is no basis in the Sunnah or our tradition for an engagement ceremony and/or engagement ring, it’s quite clear that in the progressive modern Muslim world we live in, one is forced—by new-found custom—to give an engagement ring. I think it’s quite foolish for many reasons, but perhaps the most obvious one: she’s not going to wear that ring after she gets married, so why spend big bucks? I suggest giving her a Ring Pop: not only is it affordable, not only can she enjoy a variety of flavors, she can, as the jingle goes, “save some for later” if she’s not hungry at the moment.
  3. Getting a Hall: Even if one has the nikkah at the masjid (cost: $0), getting a hall for the walîmah is quite expensive.  I mean, all you have to do is feed these stupid friends of yours a meal right, why should you have to pay like $30 a head just to get them in the banquet hall, and then another $10-15 for food?  I suggest that instead of actually renting the banquet hall, gather everyone together in a tent in the banquet hall parking lot. Or alternatively, find a public park that you can rent for free (if you’re a resident of the area) and gather everyone there.
  4. Invitations: Forget making cards and spending a fortune for cardboard that’s going to be tossed away after the wedding date anyway. Besides, if you use the same printer and you have multiple marriages, there’s always the risk that the invitation maker might accidentally leave the name of a previous wife on the card… certainly upsetting your latter wife and confusing the general population. Instead, make a Xanga site and direct everyone to visit it via AIM. Or send everyone IMs and emails… you can get creative with different fonts and colors to truly have unique invitations.
  5. Food: First off, you have to be adamant that you’re not going to have a post-nikkah meal. Not only is it not part of the Sunnah, but do you really want to feed your loser friends two meals? This leaves us with figuring out what sort of food should one serve at the walîmah. Getting quality zabîhah food these days is quite expensive. Therefore, one option is to mass order those $3 fish combo meals from McDonalds… a sandwich, fries, and a drink. Another option, which is quite useful if you’re having it at a public park, is to just roast whole lamb/calves and slice a chunk off for each guest. Complement this by serving rice in two big pagonas, one for each gender, which everyone can commonly eat from. This will save money on plates and other needless utensils. Finally, if you’re even more strapped for cash, you can have a potluck walimah and tell your guests to bring their own tupperware because throwing away food is not cool.
  6. Entertainment: Given the modern world we live in, it’s not enough to simply have the actual wedding—people insist on entertainment. Rather than trying to arrange for entertainment (singers, comedians, etc), let your guests decide on what kind of entertainment they want. For this, I recommend buying a bunch of Frisbees, footballs, and volleyballs, and leave the guests to their own devices. Necessity is the mother of invention, and your guests will be forced to use their creativity to come up with exciting recreational activities to amuse themselves. Even better is if you can find someone who works at Sports Authority so that you can return all the “gently-used” items after the wedding is over.
  7. Gifts for Families and Relatives: This has to be the most culturally backward component of the Muslim marriage. Not only does one have to get gifts for the prospective spouse, it seems one also has to give gifts for the other side’s family as well. Clothes, jewelry, and cash are exchanged quite frequently in our community. But again, with all those marriages, you’re not going to have much of a budget to afford any of this nonsense. The best thing to do is to sneak into a medical conference and visit the pharmaceutical companies’ booths. Those guys give away all sorts of free and neat stuff to advertise their drugs: pens, walkmans, mousepads, t-shirts, and inflatable chairs are among few of the things one can easily find at such conventions. A visit to 2-3 conventions can guarantee gifts for her whole khandan (family).
  8. The Mahr (dowry): This one is tricky. There’s really no way around this, so instead of trying to find a shortcut here, I suggest to kill two birds with one stone. Instead of simply writing her a check for thousands of dollars, propose that the mahr will be that you pay for her Hajj or Umrah expenses. And then definitely go with the Simple Hajj option with Taqi Uncle. This will not only save you big bucks, but will have positive religious and spiritual benefits as well.
  9. Marry After All Your Friends Have Jobs: This is because if you marry young, my dear son, then all your loser friends are probably still in school and/or have no financial stability whatsoever. None of these people will give you any gifts of substantial monetary significance because unfortunately, at this stage in their life, they simply cannot afford it. However, if you were to wait till they all actually had decent jobs, then your gift registry can be moved from Wal-Mart to Marshall Fields and you can really cash in on the big items. Waiting a few years will allow you to have “65” Plasma TV” as one of the gift registry items… and is an achievable gift if some of your working friends chip in together. 
  10. Charge an Entrance Fee: Considering that every guest might run you $15-50, charging an entrance fee will help defray the costs. Have a booth set up at the entrance so that each guest can pay a certain fee and receive a meal ticket. If they don’t want to pay, that’s fine, but they shall have no meal ticket when it comes time for food. This entrance fee ought to cover all incidental costs, and you may even come out on top when it’s all said and done.

 

These are just some of the ways that the novice can save big money on his wedding. There are many other areas that we could have given advice about and commented on, but for those who truly understand, this will be sufficient. And God is sufficient as a Disposer for all affairs.

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29 Comments
  1. yes i’m the first one to comment. HAHAHA. man that was hilerous that must be the most cheapest wedding a desi brother can have. This can even top a jewish or a guju wedding (JK). haha. i think i’m going to use some of these techinices. I love the idea for the engagement ring. haha. ring pop!!! lol. alright man tc. salaam

  2. haha potluck walimah.

  3. Here’s a Poem about Modesty I really liked. It is by Dawud Wharnsby Ali.You’re So Beautiful You Know!!!———————————–They say, “Oh Girl! You’re so beautiful you know!It’s a shame that you cover up your beauty so!”She just smiles and graciously responds reassuringly,“This beauty that I have is just a simple part of me.This body that I have no stranger has the right to see.
    These long clothes, the shawl I wear ensure my modesty.Faith is more essential than fashion wouldn’t you agree?This hijab, it is a mark of piety!It is an act of faith a symbol for all the world to see.”
    Some simple clothing to preserve her dignity!So lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity!They tell her, “Girl! Don’t you know this is the West and you are free?You don’t need to be oppressed, ashamed of your femininity!”
    She just shakes her head and she speaks so assuredly, “See the billboards and the magazines that line the checkout isles, with their phony painted faces and their air brushed smiles?Well their sheer clothes and low cut gowns, they really aren’t enough for me.You call it freedom and I call it anarchy!
    And this hijab, this mark of piety, it is an act of faith, a symbol, for all the world to see.”Some simple clothing to preserve her dignity!So lift the veil from your heart to see the heart of purity.Lift the veil from your heart, andseek the heart of purity!

  4. Anonymous permalink

    in reference to #9 .. I’m one of the youngest of the chicago crew .. so i finna have a killer wedding gift registry when my time comes around inshaAllah 😉 … KR .. for God’s sake get our nigga, the Don, married already

  5. Anonymous permalink

    dude there should be a wedding carnival every year…yknow like have 20-30 couples with games and rides and kajoors (dates) and what not…and maybe like 5-10 mawlana’s for the nikkahs…that’d be dope…
    hehe and i was just messing with you man…dont be mad…and it was a good khutbah mash’Allah….
    nigger-ul-haq

  6. ….thanks for the wedding tips i might need it lol

  7. Anonymous permalink

    Hehehe. Good ideas.

  8. lol….

  9. I wouldn’t have expected anything less than this! Good stuff bhai saab.

  10. Or… we could all use Takin’ It to the Streets as our ‘wedding ceremony’ and have Imam Zaid perform the nikah. That would do some major cost defrayage, have mad entertainment value, and invite those bhored aunties and uncles down to the south siiiide, finally. As for me, my dowry shall be a fat delivery of four 24-inch vendetta chrome rims…and the beautiful thing about mehr is that tis given to the girl… so if you pimp the ride / you please the bridestill proppin’,IJB

  11. Anonymous permalink

    you have breast cancer in your knees….gnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ps mystified child is ugly as hell…

  12. Anonymous permalink

    lol….GOOD post.

  13. Anonymous permalink

    haha great post after all weddings are only on day (except for us arabs) why should you spend so much money on a couple hours? i especially liked “charge an entrance fee” ingenous lol

  14. Anonymous permalink

    “I think it’s once again imperative to refresh ourselves with this wise and noble theory below. This religion is all about refreshing ourselves with information that we already knew–Imam al-Mawlud said that even the rules of prayer should be reviewed every 6 months so as to keep them fresh.”
    Is this code for saying that you have no fresh ideas, then backing it up with some religious talk. Nice one KR. But for recycling you get NO EPROPS!

  15. to kareem: dude, we’ve been trying, but the Don has to try himself… i keep telling that guy to get a new wardrobe and start working out… but you know Kazim, he aint gonna change for no body…. gotta respect that nonetheless. once boards are finished, finding Mrs. Don is gonna be on my list of things to do.
    alti: hehe, 5-10 mawlanas… i wasnt mad at all, i was messin you know that
    to isaac: indeed, what you say bout fiddy is true
    to hisham: youre just bitter that this remixed post is better than any post you ever came up with…
    to pk: im sorry honey. please forgive me. tell me what i did wrong and i will apologize. this silent treatment of 0 eprops and no comment is too much, i can’t take it anymore…

  16. after planning a wedding side by side a friend of mine’s, I realized how expensive these things can turn out to be subhanAllah… getting cake was more than $300.. whaat? So I’ve devised a plan to just take a $50 cake decorating class and make the cake myself… and flowers! dang, who needs to spend $600 – $1000 on these things? they’re going to DIE anyway… just grow them in your backyard is what I tell my mom I’ll be doing. And photographers?? $900 whoo? c’mon people, haven’t you ever heard of digital…? or better yet, Walgreens?And the aunties/khalehs will gather together and make all the food. Sounds like a good plan … also with these new tips, it seems like it will be successful bi idhn illah. Or we can just flow with what my sister says.. “everyone’s invited! They just have to bring a chair and a lunch bag…”

  17. wow pk…thats power.
    as for entertainment…what about just hiring the angry uncle from qidas’s last post?
    forget hiring, just invite him..no money needed

  18. this is a recycled post and thus deserves no eprops…

  19. Ewww why the pic of me?

  20. rooji and saqib are a bunch of haaaaaaaaaaaaaters…

  21. Anonymous permalink

    change back ur pic

  22. salamz kamran, lollllll great post!!! dat would be one hilarious and tyte wedding party! but bro, a man’s gotta treat her woman rite don’t u think? and try to give her the most beautiful wedding everrr. loll i don’t think i would try to pull that off. but yeahh ur rightt those kinda girlss would be very hard to findddd. but we’ll see what happens to me, i still got time. but hey! if you do get married early, u can jus invite all ur older brother’s or cousin’s friends who should alll be working and say that ur registered at sum expensive store or you can jus let your mom and dad invite a whole bunch of thier friends along with your own friends. he he. but i would crak up liek crazyy if someone actually did pull that off. ok broo take caree. wasalamz!

  23. haha…good luck with that, and the ring pop idea is real funny, as long as the diamond is promised on the wedding day, that idea is gold, if not…..then you’ll have a ring pop mark on your head….

  24. weddings are overrrated

  25. Outstanding.

  26. since PK gave you 0 props, i must do what my husband does and give you 0 as well…in fact, i shouldn’t even be commenting since he himself didn’t comment…please don’t tell PK i commented or else he’s gonna beat me

  27. to chikita: done and done. what’s with everyone preferring naveen over prince of persia?
    to mvp, fazaileamal: thanks for stoppin by fawad
    to xpika1x: but ring pop has so many different flavors? you can’t eat diamonds… well, i guess you could but that would earn you a trip to the emergency room…
    to zs: agreed and agreed.
    to tokes the smokes: dude, that comment was hilarious. may Allah bless you for putting a smile on my face and may He put a smile on yours on the day of judgment.

  28. You have finally earned my props.

  29. Anonymous permalink

    hehehe  lolz dude out-rage-us
    you shud liek start a marriage cousing bearou  fo the families of growing students…giv us all abreak from explainin all ths theory 2 ur parents…but dat wud  b  da bom !

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